Ex-Bogota mayor ordered held in corruption probe

AP News
Posted: Sep 23, 2011 6:51 PM
Ex-Bogota mayor ordered held in corruption probe

A judge has ordered that the suspended mayor of Colombia's capital be detained while he is tried for allegedly seeking payoffs in exchange for awarding construction contracts.

Samuel Moreno was suspended from his post in May and earlier this week was charged with crimes including embezzlement and extortion. If convicted, the 51-year-old could face up to 15 years in prison.

Prosecutors argued that if Moreno was left free, he could use his influence to obstruct the investigation.

The judge accepted that argument Friday. Moreno will be transfered to prison in the coming days.

Moreno has said he is innocent.

The Bogota mayor's position is considered the second most powerful elected office in Colombia after the presidency.